Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)

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Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot
 
4.5(25)
Characters
 
4.5(25)
Writing Style
 
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I Just Couldn't Get Into It! =(
(Updated: July 14, 2012)
Overall rating
 
2.7
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
1.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
I loved the whole idea of this book! I couldn't wait to read it.. And When I did I was disappointed! I couldn't really relate to the main character which made it so hard to enjoy! When writing a book the most important thing is to make a relatable chracter that readers can understand! One thing I did like were the horror scenes.. It had me looking under my bed && inside my closet before I could even open the book or look at the cover! I also liked the forbidden love that Anna shared with the main chracter! I know when I like a book when I remember mostly all the chracter's names.. But unfortunately the only name I remembered from this book was Anna.
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Cas the hunter...Or Cas the lover?
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
I can't wait to read the sequel to this!
Good Points
What I like about this book is Cas’ and Anna’s relationship. Actually, I love how Cas’ treats the ghosts. He treats a lot of the ghosts with respect and tries to be gentle with them. I also like Thomas mostly because he sounds a lot like my best friend, Kate. Near the ending was very intense for me and I started flipping out (which means that I’m reading a good book). I just couldn’t put it down when I reached around page 220.
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To Love Cas or Not to Love Cas...
Overall rating
 
3.3
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Three things about Anna Dressed in Blood.

1. I like Cas and I don't like him. His character is good, but sometimes annoying (at least to me) and I feel that in some instances he ruined the scariness of the book. He had such a straightforward attitude to scary things in general that his descriptions though normally terrifying had an air of "This is normal, everything will be fine." That made it not as scary for me. Which disappointed me, I was so looking forward to getting scared by the book!

2. The plot was...odd. Not bad, but not spectacular. At parts the flow didn't make sense, but when I got to the end I got the reason for the way it flowed. I missed a lot of foreshadowing and that made some parts of the end super confusing.

3. I wished it had more atmosphere. Looking at the cover I felt that the book should be steeped in setting and atmosphere, and yet it wasn't. The town could have been anywhere, there was nothing special about it. The only place that got any real atmospheric description was Anna's house (granted that place was done superbly!). So yeah, I was kinda disappointed about that aspect of the book.

However, despite these mixed feelings I truly enjoyed the book. I loved the secondary characters and how they developed and the story was enjoyable to read and the writing engaging. I liked the romance, but I wish it had been better developed (I guess I should have added that to my list of "Three Things"). Still I liked it a lot and am eager to read the sequel!

Soundtrack: Wood by Second Person (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILo1v6Y7IB4)
Good Points
Cas and the characters as a whole. The plot.
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Heartbreakingly Terrifying
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Picture the scene of a horror movie, right before something is about to happen, and the creepy music goes silent. That is the feeling I got almost the entire length of this book. My hair was standing on end and I was on edge - jumping at any creaks or groans emitted in my apartment.

Anna is heartbreaking. And terrifying. There were definite moments where I forgot she was dead, and hoped for a future for her. Then Blake would shatter my heart and remind me that Anna was dead and that there was no hope. The scenes with her dripping blood were written so vividly, that I kept fearing that when I looked up from my book she would be hovering over me.

Cas was a strong protagonist, and I loved the slightly awkward moments between him and Thomas as their friendship grew. It was refreshing that Cas was honest about everything with everyone, instead of making stupid decisions which would end up coming back to haunt him later. I wish his thirst for vengeance for his father had been slightly stronger, and that it had been explained why his mother and Gideon reacted so strongly to his questions about his father's death - and the strange talisman he found at his murder site.

Thomas was a great supporting character - his awkward clumsiness was endearing, and being unnaturally brave made his actions that much more honourable. Carmel was also a refreshing supporting character. As the popular cheerleader-type, I expected a vapid airhead. She proved herself the complete opposite several times and I really enjoyed seeing her come into her own and prove her worth.

I did find the first half of the book was a little too slowly paced for me, as I didn't really understand Cas' attraction to Anna. I get that she is different then every other ghost he has faced, but other than curiosity over how she had gotten so strong, I didn't get why he would risk his life to ask her questions - questions that she kept refusing to answer.

Once the binding spell was completed, however, and we learn about Anna's sordid past, I couldn't get to the ending fast enough! Suspense and twists had me gripping the book until my knuckles went white. I won't get in to the ending - I don't want to inadvertently spoil anything - but I will say that the final scene at Cas' house will haunt my nightmares. I've got chills just thinking about it again.
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Step Aside Winchester Brothers
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Anna Dressed in Blood is one of the most original, deeply creepy and engrossing novels I’ve read recently. The story certainly lives up to the eeriness of the cover art and is an interesting mix of supernatural horror and forbidden attraction.

Kendare Blake has created a world in which things that go bump in the night are very real and likely to kill you. Cas is an interesting and wonderfully flawed hero, while Anna's character opens the story to new directions that the reader doesn't expect. Secondary characters are just as important and well-developed and help bring Blake's world to life. Anna Dressed in Blood perfectly balances horror, action and emotion to leave the reader anxiously waiting for the next volume.

I’ll be honest – this book actually gave me a few nightmares. Not because of Anna; she is intriguing and tormented and freaky yes, but there is another character that I truly gave me the chills. Readers will feel compelled to finish this book in one sitting so as not to be too overcome by the death-by-ghost possibilities. Kendare Blake is a talented writer who’s second novel bursts onto the YA Paranormal scene with a bewitching tale.
Recommended for readers of:
Robert Liparulo, Stephen King, Richard Yancey, Maureen Johnson
Good Points
1. Deliciously Creepy
2. Fast-paced
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